Last week, hearings began on the Affordable Health Care Act, which has become known as “Obamacare”. The Supreme Court has convened to decide if the act, which requires individuals to purchase health care, is constitutional. This debate has become almost inescapable, dominating the headlines and news shows with the constant question – Will the Affordable Health Care Act be struck down by the Supreme court?
What they say is at stake are the lives of the 50 million uninsured Americans and many more who will go uninsured for some period of time. The Affordable Health Care Act supposedly addresses these people’s needs by demanding that all Americans take out a health care plan. It imposes some guidelines on the health care companies, imposing restrictions so that they can’t deny patients for pre-existing conditions, and increasing the number of years that young people can be on their parents’ health care plan by two years. Overall the Affordable Health Care Act will bring 23 million uninsured Americans under some health care plan.
At first the lines seem clearly drawn. On the one side is the Obama administration and the Democrats, trying for the first time in U.S. history to impose on the health care companies some kind of health care plan for the masses of uninsured people. On the other side are those who oppose the Affordable Health Care Act – mostly the Republican Party opponents of Obama. Their attitude? If you don’t have health care, and you develop health problems, it’s your own fault. The most important thing is to preserve the right of the health care companies to offer the kind of plans that they currently do, with constantly increasing premiums, and less and less actual health care. They scream about freedom, but the only freedom they are interested in is that of the corporations to exploit our needs for profit. Even the tiny restrictions that would be imposed under the Affordable Health Care act are too much for them. And of course the Republicans also want to score points against Obama for the coming election. For them, this debate is also a piece of political theater.